When I’m not traveling, I love to read about travel (big surprise, I know!). Whether it’s travel tales from others who suffer from wanderlust or informative memoirs that give an insight into other cultures, I can’t get enough of them. With summer here everyone is looking for a good book to take to the beach. I’ve put together this list of some of my favorite books, all about travel!
by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett & Amanda Pressner
Hands down one of my absolute favorites! A memoir written by 3 girls from New York, it’s honest, funny and full of adventures from the road. Amanda, Jennifer and Holly are in their late 20’s and trying to figure out life as most of us are at that age. With the pressure of their careers, boyfriends, marriages and everything else that goes with the typical American dream weighing on their shoulders, they drop everything to backpack around the world for a year.
The Full Montezuma
Another one of my favorites, this one takes you on a whirl wind 6 month journey through Central America. Peter Moore, a well known travel writer, sets off with his backpack and girlfriend to see what Central America (and a few Caribbean Islands) has to offer. Exploring jungles, cities, and ancient Mayan ruins this book will keep you entertained and add a few places to your bucket list.
A House In Fez
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to move to another country? This is exactly what Suzanna Clarke and her husband did. But they decided to take it one step further. Not only did they move to Morocco, they decided to purchase and restore a very old, very dilapidated riad in the city of Fez. Filled with tales of trials and tribulations that come with navigating local customs and laws, this book is informative, entertaining and will have you routing for them to succeed.
What I was Doing While You Were Breeding
If you’re looking for a great summer read, look no further! This memoir written by Kristin Newman, will have you laughing out loud and shaking your head at her adventures across the globe. Kristin works as a professional comedy writer for popular American sitcoms, so you know its going to be an entertaining read. Having not found “Mr. Right” and not ready to settle down just yet, a single Kristin takes extended vacations to far off places and masters the art of “vacationship”. Absolutely hilarious, you won’t be able to put this one down.
Sihpromatum – I Grew My Boobs In China
At the age of 14, in the wake of her parents divorce, Savannah is up rooted from her life as she knows it in Vancouver, Canada. Savannah’s mother has always wanted to travel the world and now seems like the perfect time. Savannah and 2 of her 3 siblings have little choice but to follow their mother on an epic backpacking journey. What was supposed to be a 1 year journey turns in 4, spanning 80 countries. The first book in a series of 4 installments, this is an insightful, honest and entertaining account of a typical 14 yr old who matures into a well traveled woman of the world.
A biography written by Bruce Poon Tip, the creator of the highly successful adventure tour company, G Adventures. Bruce takes you along on his worldly adventures and dialogues how he reinvented business by giving power to the employee. At G Adventures, everyone is a CEO, in charge of creating the best experiences for their clients. Read how his multi-million dollar company is giving back to local communities while changing the world.
by Jennifer Steil
This real-life account of Jennifer’s experience moving to Yemen to teach a journalism class is a wonderful insight into another culture and country. What was supposed to be a short term move turns into a year long stay and leads her to meet the love of her life. This book will take on you along on Jennifer’s adventures as she navigates her way through the oldest city on earth.
by Kristin Addis
A biography written by successful travel blogger Kristin Addis, this story chronicles her first steps into the world as a solo female traveler. Follow along on her adventures as she quits her job and leaves a normal life of security in the US to travel through South East Asia.
Without You, There Is No Us
This true story is an extremely insightful and en-lighting look into one of the most guarded countries on earth. American journalist Suki Kim goes undercover as an English teacher to North Korea’s sons of elite leaders for 6 months, and tries to understand life under the rule of a dictator. She offers a look into a very lonely and closely monitored society as she makes real connections with her students. She discovers deep down they are boys like any other, while being both slaves and soldiers to their country.
by Lauren Juliff
Another one written by successful travel blogger, Lauren, who quit her job, sold her belongings and set out to travel the world alone. But for Lauren it wasn’t entirely that simple, as she suffers from anxiety and seems to have the worst luck when traveling. This book is filled with many tales of how things went wrong but also how she persevered and continued on working outside her comfort zone.
by Irene Butler
Canadian couple Irene and Rick Butler retire, but rather than settling into a conformable life at home, they decide to take off on a 1 year trek around the world. Traveling slowly they cover 12 countries in 12 months, proving that they can travel for the same cost of living at home. Written by award winning travel writer Irene, this book is for anyone who longs to grab a backpack and set out to explore the world!
The Lonely Hearts Travel Club – Destination Thailand
The only fictional book on this list, Katy Collins crafts the character Georgia Green after her own life experiences in this light-hearted novel. After an unexpected break-up with her fiance, Georgia is forced to reexamine her life as she tries to figure out what went wrong and what to do now that she’s single. On a whim this travel virgin decides to go on a trip to Thailand where nothing seems to go according to plan. But all is not lost when she eventually finds her shangri-la on a beach in Thailand and maybe even a nice guy to share the experience with. Described as “Bridget Jones goes backpacking”, Katy Collins has since added 2 more books to the Lonely Hearts Travel series. Be sure to check out Katy’s travel and lifestyle blog Not Wed or Dead.
Elisabeth writes a wonderful memoir covering 15 yrs of travel, spanning 5 continents and many countries. One of the original solo female travelers, she has adventures in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, finds old connections in Cairo and meets a few men along the way. Elisabeth “sheds light on a growing culture of young women who have the freedom and inclination to define their own, increasingly global, lifestyles, unfettered by traditional roles and conventions of past generations of women.” Be warned, reading this book may result in a severe case of Wanderlust!
Tales of A Female Nomad
In this book, Rita proves that its never too late to just pick up and live life as a nomad. At the age of 48 Rita finds her normal life changing all around her as she gets divorced and makes the decision to leave her comfortable life in LA to travel the world. Moving slowly, she experiences life in a Zapotec village in Mexico, meets healers and medicine men in far off jungles, makes friends with the wildlife on the Galapagos Islands and orangutans in the wilds of Borneo. Summed up, “Rita’s example encourages us all to dust off our dreams and rediscover the joy, the exuberance, and the hidden spirit that so many of us bury when we become adults.”
Long Way Round & Long Way Down
Hollywood actors, bike fanatics and best friends, Ewan and Charlie decide to bike their way around the world in Long Way Round. Raising money for UNICEF along the way, these two document their travels (which have also been made into a mini-series) as they over come the trials and tribulations of what it takes to ride a motorcycle across some of the the toughest terrain on earth. After returning from their round the world trip, they felt the need to continue on this journey. So they set up another monumental expedition by riding their bikes from the north tip of Scotland all the way to Cape Town located on the southern tip of Africa.
Do you have any wanderlust inspired books to add to this list?